Music

Rossini’s opera Il barbiere di siviglia is one of those operas which gives opera its reputation. Unbelievable plot that I can never remember in detail, anachronistic yet hugely credible characters and in this production, camp production and costumes supporting fantastic singing and orchestra amid the lovely acoustic of the Royal Opera House. All contributing to nearly three hours of sophisticated escapism where music, stagecraft and lighting combine to make performance magic.

Read more: Il barbiere di siviglia - Royal Opera House

St Martin-in-the-Fields Church on Trafalgar Square, London was partially lit by candle light for this lively concert of Baroque music given by LMA Orchestra conducted by John Landor.

Read more: Vivaldi Four Seasons - LMA Orchestra, January 2011

We went to the Barbican Hall in the city on New Year's Eve for a Viennese night with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra directed by John Georgiadi, so mainly Strauss. 

Read more: New Year's Eve 2010 Viennese gala

A rousing performance of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique completed tonight's London Symphony Orchestra concert at the Barbican with François-Xavier Roth collaborating with the LSO from the podium in a very modern style of conducting, including wearing a grey suit (which showed his perspiration) rather than black tails; also, he didn't use a baton.

Read more: Symphonie fantastique: LSO, Roth - January 2011

Last night's Prom was the treat of walking from home to the Royal Albert Hall to hear Beethoven and Mahler Symphonies played by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Just the idea of being the idea of being able to walk to such a concert is an enormous treat: the Beethoven's fourth Symphony was one of the first I got to follow in the score, in the recording by Arturo Toscanini which featured highlighted the (then) bassoon virtuoso.

Read more: Berlin Philharmonic Prom